The leadership of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) has expressed concern about what it describes as the growing discriminatory practices within the Ghana Education Service against its members.
TEWU says it is important to immediately rectify the situation to promote harmony in the educational sector.
"In recent years, we have observed with dismay, the discriminatory tendencies our members are experiencing in the structure of the Ghana Education Service (GES), we do not understand why certain positions appear to be the preserve certain people.
“For instance, the Director of Finance or Human Resource can only be occupied by a teacher. We do not see why our members, even with the requisite qualification, cannot be allowed to apply for and also be considered for appointment to such positions,” said Mark Korankye, the Acting General Secretary of TEWU.
He was speaking at the 2019 Western Regional Conference of TEWU of TUC (Ghana), the fourth in the series of Regional Conferences on the theme “60 years of TEWU’s Contribution to the Development of Equitable, Inclusive and Quality Education Delivery in Ghana”.
He noted that advertisements for vacancies within the educational sector always favoured the mainstream teachers without regard for TEWU members, who according to him, were equally qualified.
He said the qualifications are always set to the disadvantage of their members and give undue advantage to teachers – applicants must be at the rank of Senior Superintendent and called for a level playing field to allow all qualified persons in the service to apply and be considered for appointment.
According to him, another discrimination was the non-payment of responsibility allowance to TEWU members in the Principal grades and questioned, "Why if a non-teaching staff and a teacher attend the same institution for further studies and acquire the same certificate, but when they apply for upgrade, it takes forever for the non-teaching staff to get the upgrade done at the GES headquarters, but the teacher gets his upgrade almost instantly at the Regional Directorate. This is also unfair."
He pointed out that the TEWU had played and continue to play key roles in the development of Education and Education delivery in the Country and must, therefore, be given the needed recognition.
Issues on critical support, overtime allowances were all key on the concerns raised by the Union Secretary for redress by the Ghana Education Service.
Mr Korankye alluded to the significant contribution by the TEWU members to the successes chalked by the double track system and lamented that "However, we are saying that our members are overworking themselves and yet it is not being appreciated. This is not good for their health; they need some rest. As a result of the work overload, our members are getting sick and they are being accused of not being healthy."
On the TEWU fund, he announced that measures were being put in place to make it more vibrant… very soon it will be possible for members to apply for loans and check their contributions on their mobile phones.
Mr Korankye called on members of the Union to remain to advance the course of the Union.
Mrs Sally Nelly Coleman, the EKMA Director of Education entreated members to upgrade their skills to make them competitive in their trade.
Mr Peter K Lumor, National Chairman of the TEWU said emerging trends in the educational sector offered lots of opportunities for the members and reminded them of the need to stay together with a common goal in getting their due.
He noted that the Union was making key strategic decisions, all aimed at finding solutions to the numerous problems facing its members.